Posts tagged with "Conspiracy theories"

Spotify acquires producer of macabre podcast content, Parcast

April 1, 2019

If you listen regularly to any of the 19 scripted crime and mystery shows on the podcast network, Parcast—among them, Haunted Places, Serial Killers, Conspiracy Theories, and Cultsyou’ll want to know that they soon will expand to spook a larger audience.

The major audio streaming subscription service, Spotify, has acquired Parcast in a deal expected to close in the second quarter of 2019. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The addition of Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Spotify Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff in a March 26 company press release.

“Crime and mystery podcasts are a top genre for our users and Parcast has had significant success creating hit series while building a loyal and growing fan base,” Ostroff noted, adding, “We’re excited to welcome the Parcast team to Spotify and we look forward to supercharging their growth.”

“In three years, we have created a production house that has grown exponentially and hit a chord with mystery and true-crime fans, especially women, across all 50 states and around the world. We are proud to join the world’s most popular audio subscription streaming service and gain access to one of the largest audiences around the world,” said Parcat President Max Cutler. “Alongside Spotify, our ability to scale, grow, and amplify the unique and tailored brand of content we create is full of fantastic possibilities.”

One of the things that has made Parcast stand out from the crowd is the fact that they produce everything in-house and own all of the content available on the network. “That is crucial,” Cutler told Podcast Business Journal. “We do not rep other podcasts. We do not make deals on sales for other podcasts. We want to own all the IPs. That gives us a lot of flexibility in how we control the sound, how we build a brand.”

According to the two parties to the deal, Parcast will continue to produce its own creative content. Indeed, TechCrunch reports, there do not appear to be any plans to make Parcast’s shows exclusive to Spotify at present, so if you’re not a Spotify user, you’ll likely still be able to enjoy your favorite Parcast picks after the acquisition.

Research contact: @Spotify

Nearly 40% believe conspiracy theories about aviation chemtrails

November 28, 2017

Today, airlines are nearly as detested as banks and lawyers—and poor or exploitative customer services are just two of the reasons why.

Indeed, perhaps the most popular conspiracy theory online now vilifies chemtrails—the streaks in the sky deposited by aircraft, which sometimes are speculated to be chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed for unknown (but dangerous) purposes.

Now, a new study based on polling data and online postings–conducted by the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Harvard Kennedy School—finds that a humongous number of people believe that the vapor trails emitted by airplanes are part of some weather control or mind control plot, according to a November 27 story on Patheos.com

The Harvard University paper presents the results of a nationally representative, 1,000-subject poll under the auspices of the 36,000-subject 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES); as well as an analysis of the universe of social media mentions of geoengineering.

The data show that about 10% of Americans think the chemtrails conspiracy is “completely true’” and that a further 20% to 30% of respondents think that the conspiracy is “somewhat true”—with no apparent difference by party affiliation or strength of partisanship.

In addition, the researchers said, conspiratorial views have accounted for about 60% of geoengineering discourse on social media over the past decade. The anonymity of social media appears to encourage the spread of this information; as does the general acceptance online of unverified or “fake news.”

“As with so many conspiracy theories,” Patheos said, “people who believe them [think that] there is a vast conspiracy of virtually every institution to cover all these things up. Believing they have secret knowledge of this organization … makes them believe that they are part of some resistance movement to an evil that is all-powerful and scarcely imaginable in its scope, which conditions the more unhinged among them to commit violence .

“And scientists involved in debunking the chemtrail nonsense have received many death threats, as well,” the posting informs us, noting, “This is not just harmless fantasizing. It has a real cost.”

Research contact:  (Harvard) hello@gwagner.com